As we edge into the final third of the season, there is a weird acceptance that we’re focussing more on the next campaign, despite there being several things to play for this year. With two world class signings, a new negotiatior and a new head of player recruitment, there is a rare case of optimism as Arsenal begin to move into a new era. However, there is an something that Arsenal do need to sort out, the captaincy. And this article will look at the candidates to lead the Arsenal into their new era.
The obvious criticism of Arsenal in the media is that we have lacked a natural leader since the likes of Tony Adams, Patrick Vieira and to a lesser extent Thierry Henry and Cesc Fabregas. In recent seasons, the captaincy has been passed around more than an in under 8s team. While William Gallas was obviously mental, Van Persie and Vermaelen seemed to suit the role but left soon after. And since then, Mikel Arteta, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny have shared it as much as they have shared their injury problems.
So the time has come for the club to look at alternatives as we move into what should be an exciting new era for the club. The calls from a large amount of the fans would be to give it to Jack Wilshere. As the main remaining “Arsenal man” in the first team, he links the fans to their team and embodies everything we want to see from a captain; combining hard work with brilliance on the pitch. I have to say, when he signs his contract, he would be a leading contender in my mind.
Aaron Ramsey is another that has been mentioned as potential captain. As he goes into his tenth season this summer, he’s now a player that should be kicking on as the box to box midfielder at the Arsenal. He has previously captained Wales and would be a very popular choice.
Granit Xhaka was Borussia Mönchengladbach’s youngest captain before we signed him. While he maybe hasn’t been a total hit since he has started, he appears a natural leader and is likely to be in the side every game, which hasn’t been the case with our last few captains.
And finally, our number 11 with his recently signed contract. Arsene Wenger recent said he wants to see Mesut Özil take the lead more now he has signed his contract. While he may not be the Adams/Vieira screaming type, he leads on the pitch. While he would be more in the Fabregas mould as a captain and would let his football be the inspiration, he is an unlikely outsider at the moment.
For me, not for the first time in their careers, it’s looking like a straight shootout between Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey. If there’s anyone else in the frame that I’ve missed, let me know!
Up the Arsenal